Instant Pot Rosemary Cashew Chicken

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This satisfyingly creamy Instant Pot Rosemary Cashew Chicken with steamed white rice, crisp broccoli, and gouda cream sauce is a midweek treat made easy in your electric pressure cooker. 

45 degree shot of rosemary cashew chicken served in a white bowl over rice and broccoli

Hey everyone, Jenn here! A while back, Barbara created an amazing Rosemary Cashew Chicken recipe that won first prize in a local recipe contest—an amazing cashew chicken filling served inside classic vol-au-vent pastries.  

While I really love the original recipe, I seldom take the time to make the puff pastries. However, flavors this tasty need to be eaten often, so we’ve simplified the original recipe and converted it to the pressure cooker.

This Instant Pot Cashew Chicken is a weeknight meal, served over fluffy white rice with steamed broccoli and creamy gouda cheese sauce. This quick and easy pressure cooker recipe is sure to be a family favorite! 

Overhead shot of rosemary cashew chicken in a bowl, served with rice and broccoli, in front of an Instant Pot.

How to Make Rosemary Cashew Chicken in the Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

This Rosemary Cashew Chicken recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

This Instant Pot recipe might look tricky, but it actually comes together really easily. Just start by sauteing diced chicken and onions in your cooking pot. 

Then add chicken stock as the cooking liquid. Add a trivet so you can cook the chicken below and the rice pot-in-pot on top. (More on that next!)

While the chicken and rice cook in your Instant Pot, you can make the creamy gouda cheese sauce in a sauce pan. 

Preparing rosemary cashew chicken in an Instant Pot with a trivet placed over the chicken for pot in pot cooking.

When the pressure valve drops and you open the lid, remove the rice, then make a quick slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken the liquid surrounding the chicken. 

Serve Instant Pot Rosemary Chicken over white rice topped with creamy gouda sauce and sprinkled with cashews for crunch. 

White rice in a 7 inch cake pan placed over the rosemary cashew chicken to cook pot in pot at the same time.

How to Use the Pot-in-Pot Method to Cook Chicken and Rice at the Same Time

The pot-in-pot method refers to how we cook both chicken and rice at the same time in a single Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker.

🛑 If this is your first time using the pot-in-pot method, I recommend reading our detailed post on how to cook pot in pot. It’s an easy process, with just a few important steps. 

Diced chicken and white rice are the perfect combination for pot-in-pot cooking—they have the same 4-minute cook time at high pressure with a 10 minute natural release!

Here are my recommendations for best results with pot-in-pot cooking:

Preparing the Gouda cream sauce with a whisk on the stovetop  in a pan

How to Make the Creamy Gouda Sauce

Once you’ve sealed the Instant Pot / pressure cooker to make Rosemary Cashew Chicken, turn to your stovetop to make easy four-ingredient gouda cream sauce. 

This is a decadent and silky sauce that perfectly complements Instant Pot Rosemary Cashew Chicken. Like many cream-based sauces, start with a simple mixture of flour and butter. 

Cook your roux, stirring constantly, until it starts to bubble and becomes smooth. (This ensures that the flour is cooked so your sauce doesn’t taste like raw starch.)

45 degree shot of rosemary cashew chicken in a serving bowl with rice and broccoli.

I like to add both the half and half and the gouda cheese a little at a time. Adding too much at once makes it harder to keep the sauce smooth and creamy! Or it can cause your sauce to separate. 

➡️ If your pressure cooker has an adjustable sauté function, you can prepare the sauce in your pressure cooking pot. This sauce needs to cook at a low heat, so you really need to adjust your Saute setting as low as it goes before making the sauce. (I recommend making the sauce before you cook the chicken.)

Close up of rosemary cashew chicken in a bowl with broccoli and rice, with bowls of broccoli, cashews, and rice in the background.

What Kind of Chicken to Use?

This Instant Pot Rosemary Cashew Chicken recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes. However, cubed boneless, skinless thighs would also work. 

You can use diced frozen chicken, with no change to the cook time.

However, if your chicken breasts are frozen whole, use my favorite quick-thaw tip: 

Pour 1 cup water into the cooking pot. Place a trivet in the bottom and balance the frozen chicken breasts on top. Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time.

(See more of our best tips on cooking chicken from frozen here.) 

Overhead shot of a rosemary cashew chicken in a bowl with rice, cashews, and broccoli. Set in front of an Instant Pot.

More Creamy Chicken Recipes for your Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

If you’re a fan of this easy Instant Pot Rosemary Cashew Chicken with Creamy Gouda Sauce, I have more delicious chicken recipes you need to try! 

45 degree shot of rosemary cashew chicken served in a white bowl over rice and broccoli

Instant Pot Rosemary Cashew Chicken with Gouda Cream Sauce

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

Creamy Instant Pot Rosemary Chicken—served with rice, steamed broccoli, silky Gouda cream sauce, and chopped cashews—is a flavorful but super easy weeknight feast.


Rosemary Cashew Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli, lightly steamed, for serving

Gouda Cream Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 10 slices gouda cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Select Sauté to preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the olive oil and onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add the butter and diced chicken, and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add the chicken broth, rosemary, and salt.
  2. In a 7-inch round cake pan, stir together the rice and water. Place a trivet above the chicken in the pressure cooking pot. Use a sling to carefully lower the cake pan onto the trivet. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 4 minutes cook time.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Gouda Cream Sauce.* In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly.
  4. Gradually add the half and half, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the gouda cheese, a little at a time, until smooth and creamy. Add additional half and half, if necessary, to thin sauce to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  6. Use the sling to carefully remove the pan of rice from the cooking pot. Cover and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water until smooth. Select Sauté and add the slurry to the pot, stirring constantly until the liquid thickens. Stir in 1/2 cup Gouda Cream Sauce and the cashews.
  8. Serve the chicken over rice with steamed broccoli, topped with a dollop of the Gouda Cream Sauce.


*If your pressure cooker has an adjustable saute setting, you can opt to make this in your pressure cooker if you'd like. Cook the cream sauce prior to making the chicken and cover to keep warm while the chicken and rice cook.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 773mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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Picture collage including an Instant Pot, and a 45 degree shot of rosemary cashew chicken with a gouda cream sauce served over broccoli and rice.
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originally published April 25, 2020 — last updated June 2, 2020
Categories: Chicken